After a few years of passing legislation back and forth, the Australian Federal Parliament has finally agreed to an R18+ rating for video games in the country, which will come into effect at the start of 2013.
The debate over whether Australia should have an over-18 classification for video games started back in 2009
, when arguments in favor and against an R18+ classification for video games were first presented. The country currently only has an over-15 classification for video games, which leads to games deemed to be unsuitable for under-18s being banned.
However, earlier this year a proposed R18+ rating was trialed in the Australian capital of Canberra
, with the success of this move determining whether the rest of the country would be able to use the rating.
The Federal Parliament has now passed the legislation, stating that an R18+ rating will be in place from January 1, 2013. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare told
News.com.au, "These are important reforms over 10 years in the making."
"The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material. The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law."
"The passage of this bill will no doubt be welcomed by adult gamers all across Australia," added Senator Brandis. "The industry has been waiting for this change for some time."
These new laws, passed with bipartisan support, mean video games are now in line with the classification system for films and other such material.